RIP Miguel van Damme: Cercle Brugge leads tributes to the Belgian goalkeeper
Belgian footballer Miguel van Damme tragically passed away on Tuesday aged just 28 after losing his lengthy battle with Leukaemia.
Belgian footballer Miguel van Damme tragically passed away on Tuesday at the age of just 28 after losing a long battle with Leukaemia. The club Cercle Brugge goalkeeper was first diagnosed with the disease during a medical check-up ahead of the 2016-17 season and bravely battled against the illness for over five years. He is survived by his wife and young daughter.
In 2020, Van Damme told his supporters that despite battling the blood cancer twice, it had returned for the third time and would be incurable. Kyana Dobbelaere, his partner, paid a heartfelt tribute after Van Damme breathed his last.
"Our dearest darling, daddy left for his last match last night, a match that can no longer be won. You left us very slowly, yet you did it again in your own way… very strong. You fought like a lion. We are so thankful for who you were. An example for many. You have made me realise that there is no such thing as giving up, even if there was only that one small glimmer of success, time and again, you got over it," she wrote.
"Rest now, darling. You have more than earned it. You are now freed from all pain. We would love to see you. Big hug from your two girls. See you later," Kyana added.
Following this devastating news, Cercle Brugge, Van Damme's club, penned a heartfelt message. "It is with great sadness that we report that our friend and teammate Miguel Van Damme has fought his long and unfair battle against leukaemia," the club statement read.
"Words are not enough to describe what we feel, even though we knew that things had not gone well for a while. Today is an extremely difficult day in the almost 123-year history of Cercle Brugge," it added.
"Our thoughts go in the first place to his wife Kyana, his daughter Camille, Miguel's parents, his sister Francesca but also to his many friends and family. Miguel, your perseverance and strength to go for it (again) over and over, setback after setback, was admirable," the statement said.
"You are an example of positivism, persistence and fighting spirit. A source of inspiration for everyone who fights. Forever in our green-black heart, #16," Cercle Brugge concluded.
Several fans of the goalkeeper and the club took to Twitter to pour in their tributes. Here's a look at some of the other reactions: